WKYT | Lexington, Kentucky | News

Consumer Alert: Discount stores scammed

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - At first it might seem hard to believe. Two thieves, using their actual names, manage to rip off almost two dozen popular discount stores.

The brazen pair of thieves was caught on camera at Sam's Club, where they filled out credit application forms using the names of legitimate businesses and included themselves as users on the account.

They had photos taken of themselves and used their real names and personal information.

"The most unique thing is essentially how stupid the bad guys were," says Carla Menendez, a U.S. Postal Inspector.

The suspects were buying high ticket items like TV's, laptops and iPads, before turning around and selling them. Postal inspectors say it wasn't hard to catch up with the duo, once Sam's Club fraud investigators tipped them off, though they were able to get away with it for a little while.

The suspects would usually use an account for two weeks before moving on.

"Most of these businesses were very large business," explains Menendez, "therefore they make a lot of money and a lot of purchases."

In all there were 21 companies impacted and tens of thousand of dollars in losses. Inspectors say most of the companies were unaware of the charges.

"Purchasing a computer, laptop is related to their business and wouldn't make them question it unless someone brought it to their attention," says Menendez.

Inspectors say their advice to businesses applies to everyone as well. They recommend always checking bank statements and making it a point to check your credit every year.

In this case, both suspects were sentenced to 12 to 15 months in prison.


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